Thursday, November 29, 2012

Bitter medicine

Codeine Christmas Eve

Tires on Lakeshore Drive
sound like damp skin peeled clean  
of an endless adhesive bandage
unwound to reveal no visible wounds.

A dull razor riding along
the contour of patrician chin
that juts into Lake St. Clair
below Vernier Road
taking the utmost
care to avoid
nicking the thin skin
of exposed neck
stretched tight
above Windmill Pointe Drive.  

Menthol splash from the curling sheet
off Canada
swept in to   
soothe abraded estates
grown lush and full
from the stubble
of French ribbon farms,
a bracing slap in the face
to sting flood-lit Mary’s
and Joseph’s, huddled trio’s
of prostrate wise men
warming their hands,
thawing their myrrh
over drums of burning pallets,
a lava flow of colored lights,
bulb after bulb homing in
on a targeted neuron,
rendering the season
in crisp pixilation.

Bygone Rx stringencies
demanded both a wink and a nod,
“A bottle of your best, Lloyd”
to nurse a pertussint cough
persistent enough to draw
mothers and fathers attention,
exacting draftsmanship
demanding persistence,
devouring pencils like pretzel rods,
easier in the end
to render the wandering
magnetic pole
in a half-hearted sketch, only
beginning to limn dim icebergs off the starboard bow
towering over the deck
where they rearranged the chairs
and prescribed a double quelling dose.

Tires on Lakeshore Drive
echo across the years
the faded sound of a late night drive
trailing a falling star,
wallowing in frankincense,
swaddled in self-righteousness,
wreathed in dull-eyed oh woe is me. 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Iron Clads

Bonds Of Breakfast

They don’t see each other much anymore
divided by distance, siblings jousting
still for the kings favor the queens teat those
tarnished royals who left the stage long ago
cast in their time as hero and villain
from old stove and grate, childhood forgery

drop hammered into half inch boilerplate   
impervious to time, rust bled, seized fast.
The younger less experienced brother
strapping, fresh from the mold, impatient for
his first patina with a place in the
oven above a family of cookie

sheets and the old grizzled broiler pan full
of old fish stories no one wants to hear.  
The oldest one got all the looks along
with the grief of the first born; haphazard
seasoning, the early exposure to
harsh soap, wanting for a thin coat of oil

youth misspent in unchecked oxidization. 
He lives uptown in a stove top penthouse
spare early riser blackened as a monks
cassock at midnight mass, he stays busy
hovered over a gas ring of blue flame
conductor of heat, transformer of eggs

a reliable caramelizer of
onions, a mad alchemist of batter.   
They still get together for big breakfasts
corroborating rusty memories
giving thick omelets the kid glove treatment
proclaiming maple bacon to the dawn. 

Monday, November 19, 2012



A handful of stolen glances
slipped into my pocket
with a light touch deft
as a silent April spider
passing through sunlight
poured over cold plats of tile
in my morning shower

Lucinda Williams
a tune I hadn’t heard
spun like beaded silk
from the PA system
over the heads of theater goers
each and every one of us
packed upright into time
worn egg crate cases
gilded murmuring ornaments
fallen under a decorous spell
between acts
one and two

the words,
you knew them by heart,
that fragile coltish organ
beating in your chest
clenched in your throat
groaning under the weight
of all those gathering
syllables sung in silence
from the back of the house  
to the tears and applause
we surely would have showered
upon you
had only we known
that high up
on the wall suspended
in your web of patience,  
you sang sweetly
a song for your supper. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Bundled up

Great Coat

This great coat hangs in state from my shoulders
broad hem a billowing sail tacking dun 
colored seas season after season mile

upon mile of greedy wick and sucking
mud a tracking front sweeping in to scour
foot hills flat head and hands tucked deep within

these fortress walls fingers softly tapping
out a prisoners code in lightless felt
dungeons eyes alive on razor edge wings

poised for flight strand upon strand accreted
in turn while I gathered wool encased at
last within my homespun chrysalis cloak.